November is Native American Heritage Month. American Indian images, names, and stories infuse American history and contemporary life. Pervasive, powerful, at times demeaning, the images, names, and stories reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have been embedded in unexpected ways in the history, pop culture, and identity of the United States. What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.
The Verde Valley Archaeology Center joins in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans with a concert entitled “Hopi Rhythms” on November 10, at 7:00 pm in the Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts, 210 Camp Lincoln Road, Camp Verde. The theme and title of the concert was chosen to show the great variety of musical interest and talent among the Hopi people. The concert will feature the traditional, classical and contemporary rhythms of today’s Hopi.
The concert begins with selections from the Ongtupqa Project, a Hopi cultural music and video project celebrating the most ancient sounds to emerge from Ongtupqa (the Hopi name for Grand Canyon which translates to “Salt Canyon”).
The next performers will be the Hopi High School Classical Guitar Ensemble. Hopi High School is a federally-funded grant school built for and organized around the unique cultural identity of the Hopi people. The music program at Hopi is different than many school music programs, being centered around small ensembles and those in particular which will provide students a life-long involvement with music. The study of the classical guitar is a great avenue for the pursuit of music for students personally, and provides for them the tools needed to participate in a wide variety of musical styles in school, and after high school. The guitar ensemble at Hopi High School is a performing ensemble students enter by audition after one or more years of introductory study. The ensemble performs at a wide variety of venues including guitar festivals in California, New York, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. They will perform a short classical program of guitar concertos.
The evening will conclude with the contemporary sounds of Casper and the Mighty 602 Band. With the overwhelming success of his latest cd’s, Casper Lomayesva is a man on a musical mission. This Hopi / Dine’ native has spent the past years traveling throughout the country and abroad performing his unique reggae sound and exposing the realities of life on the reservation.
Profits from this concert will be divided between the Hopi Educational Endowment Fund (www.hopieducationfund.org) for the purpose of raising funds for college scholarships, and the Verde Valley Archaeology Center’s capital campaign to build an archaeological campus near the site of an ancient pit house village that was saved from becoming a housing development. Tickets and additional information can be found at www.PECPAF.com.
The Verde Valley Archaeology Center is located at 385 S. Main St., Camp Verde. The museum exhibits are free to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information on the Center’s activities is available at www.vvarchcenter.org, or by calling 928-567-0066.